Tag Archives: stash busting sewalong

The Cat Bed Quilt

Sometimes I don’t even know why I bother thinking anything I make is going to be anything ever but a bed for a fat fluffy dictator.

Side note, have you ever seen a photo of Joseph Stalin as a young man? He. Was. Devastatingly Attractive. In a super indie way. Don’t believe me? Feast your eyes on THIS:

DylFIRight? RIGHT? If you saw that guy at a bougie bar over an expensive cocktail you would be pretty into it, right? The hair. The hair is so good.

At any rate, I finished this quilt last night, and even before I had fully finished hand stitching the binding on the wrong side, someone decided this was his new favorite thing.

CBQ 1I think if you look closely you can see a pin sticking out or two. And yet look at that face, that face says, back off, bitch, this is mine now. And he’s been pretty committed to that position ever since:

CBQ 2The pattern comes from See Kate Sew, and you can find her instructions and the triangle template here. As my third quilt ever, this thing was super simple and relatively fast, by quilting standards. I like it a lot, it’s a crib quilt but it just covers my body, and it’s a nice if rather ornamental layer for my bed. But who am I kidding, this thing is clearly for my cat and my cat alone. Even as I type this, he sleeps on it contentedly.

But take a look at the whole thing!

CBQ 4I started this as part of the stashbusting challenge and it really only took me about 3 and a half weeks working on it intermittently as I did other projects.

CBQ 5For the back I used a vintage sheet and I put in a strip of pieced fabric from the front fabrics, which I really like doing. I think it’s really cute. I bound the quilt with the bright blue fabric.

CBQ 6This is all scrap, baby! The blue, the blue stripe, the aqua and the white are all vintage fabrics, two of which I dyed, the blue and the aqua. The pink was scraps from a dress I made my mother, which I have yet to blog, and the floral print with birds comes from this dress.

Can we talk for a moment about how quilts are hard to photograph? Because they are. They really are.

CBQ 7So, quilting. Well, I can’t say I adore adore adore it, but it really does satisfy something in me, the part of me that loves using scraps and loves combining colors and loves making something so homey. So I’m going to keep making them, but never fear, quilt/cat beds are all well and good, but garments have my heart.

Do you think this counts as sewing something for others?

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Filed under Challenge, Quilting, Scrap

Fighting and Scrapping

Boy, I came a bit late to the Stashbusting Challenge game this month, now, didn’t I! And yet I am still trying to fit some scrap usage in before it’s too late. So in light of that, I spent my Sunday cutting out a fair number of projects for little bits of fabric, in the hopes of at least making a gentle dent into my enormous scrap pile. What have I been concocting here in Brooklyn? Step into my lab…

I am a compulsive fabric saver. I just can’t stand to let even the tiniest scrap go by the wayside, and that is not a great quality for someone who lives in New York. Or, really, someone who lives. You just can’t save it all, you can’t use every fiber and flash of fabric, it’s not humanly possible. And yet, I try.

The thing that I loathe throwing away the MOST is jersey. So I went on a hunt for scrappy projects that involve that material. It’s not easy, honestly. There are a ton of things you can do with scraps of quilters cotton or even apparel weight cotton. Like make little mice for your little cat (or dog):

Scrap 3

I honestly forget where I found this template, but I know if you google “mouse toy diy” you will find just a million and one templates and tutorials and ideas. I have made many of this pattern for friends and no cat has ever neglected to enjoy this when a bit of catnip goes into the stuffing.

But back to my jersey woes, I have, of course, found the obvious solution to small pieces of stretchy jersey left over from knit projects:

Scrap 2

So I made a bunch of underwear, of course. I’m not going to model it for you. That would be weird. My mom reads this.

But what do you do with LARGER jersey scraps that you love, that AREN’T the kind of stretchy material that would make for comfortable underwear? Because having attempted underwear with 2-way stretch fabric, that is just some bad news bears. So I hunted down a way to use such pieces, and I found this! The Dixie DIY Portia Top, a pieced pattern suitable for lightweight wovens AND knits! Yay!

Scrap 7

Cute, no? It’s a bit big on me, which is weird, because I cut it down to an extra-small to fit onto the fabric I had, hoping it wouldn’t be too tight, and there you go, still loose. Bizarre. The printed fabric is leftovers from this dress, and I got it originally from Girl Charlee (guess what? Girl Charlee now has a blog where you can submit projects you made with their amazing knits! Do it!). The white comes from a t-shirt that I never wore because it was huge on me. So there you go, refashioning and stash busting all at once!

Scrap 8Sorry about the less-then-stellar photos. I finished this about an hour ago and wanted to post about it as soon as possible. I’ve just missed the January deadline, sigh, but that’s okay, I’m glad I got to use a bunch of scraps!

Scrap 9This is the back view. A bit blurry, sadly.

This shirt is fairly easy to put together, despite all the pieces, and really you could do all kinds of color combinations, which is cool. I would make it smaller next time, trimming everything down a bit, because it’s really quite blousey for a knit top, but I like it and I’m sure it will be airy and cool come summertime. The only changes I made were not gathering the sleeves (because I didn’t know that was a step, sigh) and changing the cuffs to a binding on the sleeves.

I just really think this is kind of a cool top, and I like the scrappy nature of it, I do! It’s like a t-shirt/quilt. I like it! Would you guys be into something like this or is it just too weird?

Scrap 10For all my travels, it’s nice to be back with Cadfael!

And I’ve also started a quilt! I’m using a free pattern from See Kate Sew, a blog I have just discovered and fallen madly in love with, like I do. She’s looking for pattern testers for clothing for little people, if you are interested…

But I’m making this quilt:

cribShe has this free pattern on her blog, and it looked fun and easy. I might add strips to the sides to make it a bit bigger, but for now, these are my fabrics:

Scrap 1

Of course, it’s really hard to bust your stash when your amazing friends keep GIVING YOU NEW FABRIC! What the hell, awesome friends? Why you gotta be so amazing? To be fair, of the two gifts of fabric I got recently, one I did see coming, as I asked my friend Rohan (hi, Rohan!) to bring me fabric back from India, from whence he comes. Don’t worry, I gave him some rum from Puerto Rico as a thank you…

Scrap 4I have just under three yards of each of these three fabrics. WHAT? Rohan is a marvelous man. And god, he has astoundingly good taste, right? I love each of these, they are so lovely! The orange border print, the ikat, the blue? I LOVE THEM ALL. I don’t know what I’m going to DO with them, but I will figure something out, I’m sure..Well done, Rohan, well done. More rum for you.

And then, my glorious roommate Emily got me fabric too! WHAT? Yes. My other equally glorious roommate Jenny got me this compilation of plays, so I honestly can’t decide which of these two ladies I’m more in love with right now, but hey, luckily I live with them and don’t have to choose! (I made them nice gifts too, I promise!) Look what Emily scored for me:

Scrap 6Is that…LIBERTY OF LONDON? You bet your ass it is. A. Mazing. And the blue behind it is just buttery as all get out, I love it! What to do, what to do with these amazing stash building gifts? My poor stash, it’s one step forward, three steps back with me.

Scrap 5Cadfael says, this is mine now. I likes it.

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Quilting, Scrap, Sewing

The I Have A Problem Shirt

There are times when, having vocalized a desire, I find myself filled with the need to do that which is exactly the opposite. For example, having recently decided that I should be making new patterns, or at least ones I’m less familiar with, I then go ahead and make this nonsensical little shirt, which is the fourth iteration of a Dixie DIY pattern. Why am I like this? Could it be because I deeply fear change? (Yes, it could be that)

IHAP 1

Or it could be that for whatever reason, I really like this swingy sweet style. It’s so not my normal thing and yet I really like it! It’s comfortable, it’s breezy, I like the way it swings around…

IHAP 5After all, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

IHAP 4Well, come on, I had to make that joke, I’m a human, aren’t I?

I couldn’t tell you why I keep making this pattern over and over again. It’s not the most flattering shape for me, and yet I like it. What is that about, some odd self-destructive tendency? But then, more than one person thought this was cute, unsolicited, so I guess it’s better than I ever thought…

I made very few changes to the pattern, I only lengthened the sleeves slightly. I would have lengthened them more but couldn’t due to a lack of fabric. This shirt only took a yard and a half, so yay for fabric efficiency!

IHAP 6And it does feel wonderful when I swing around… but god, the look on my face here is like I”m being tortured, isn’t it?

The colors actually match Puerto Rico neatly. Don’t you think?

IHAP 3IHAP 2Right? Don’t I fit right into the scenery?

IHAP 7

There is very little else to say about this shirt. Except that I really have to stop making the same thing over an over again. And yet last night I made ANOTHER repeat pattern. What. Is. My. Problem.

IHAP 8

I think maybe it’s comforting to make the same thing over and over again for me, I feel like by the second or third time through I have the pattern down pat and I really know how to make it, and while the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, my final version is usually better then my first (though, not always…isn’t THAT troubling?). But I also think it’s a bit of a laziness/fear thing, like, I know I like this pattern well enough, I don’t worry about the fitting, there are no surprises. But then when I have the finished object, I also have no surprises, and I think that’s starting to get to me. So note to self, after this dress I worked on last night (a cute little number but yet ANOTHER pattern I’ve made to death) I really have to get on the new-pattern thing.

How do you feel about tried and true versus new patterns? Do you get into a re-making rut like I do? Or are you all about new horizons?

In other news, I had vowed as a Sewalution for this year to for real for real get into my stash. And who should swoop in to help me but Cindy! (Side note, if ANY sewing blogger would be a superhero, wouldn’t it be her? I think so, with Walnut has her trusty sidekick…) So I’ve joined in her Stash Busting Sewalong, which is gloriously structured and filled with challenges and monthly themes. Here is my vow:

I, Leah, commit to using 15 pieces of stash fabric in 2013. Additional option: I also commit to not buying any new fabric/patterns/ notions except for needles and thread and zippers until July (my birthday month!).

This month is chock full of Itty Bits, so I will get into my scraps as soon as possible, as the month is almost over! Quick, to the scrap pile….

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Filed under Clothing, Dixie DIY, Planning, Sewing